river jewelwing

(Calopteryx aequabilis)

Conservation Status
river jewelwing
Photo by Dan W. Andree
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

River jewelwing is a large, 1¼ to 2 long, showy, broad-winged damselfly. It is common in northern United States and southern Canada. Males and females are the same size.

The head, thorax, and upper (dorsal) and side (lateral) surfaces of the abdomen of the male are iridescent. The apparent color is determined by the quantity and angle of available light. In good light they appear brilliant metallic green or bright metallic teal blue depending on the angle of the light. In deep shade they appear black. The 8th and 9th abdominal segments have a narrow, white, lateral patch. The lower (ventral) surface of the abdomen is black.

The wings are 1 to 17 16 long and are broad, 3½ to 4 times as long as wide. On mature individuals they are pale smoky brown, almost clear, at the base with a dark brown band at the tip. The band on the hindwing is about one third the length of the wing. That of the forewing is narrower, about one fourth the length of the wing. The wings are not stalked at the base. The area between the base of the wing and the notch (nodus) is crossed by numerous veins.

The legs are long, slender, and dark.

The female is similar but less brilliantly colored. It may appear bronze, gray, or black with a slight bluish-green iridescence. The 8th and 9th abdominal segments have a brown lateral patch. The wings are darker, yellowish-brown near the body, dark brown on the outer third, usually appearing banded at the tip. There is a slender white area (pseudopterostigma) on the leading edge of each wing toward the tip. It is crossed by veins so is not a true pterostigma. It is less than half as wide as long.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 1¾ to 2

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) wings are broader, 3 times as long as wide. On the male they are entirely black, not banded. On the female they are darker, dark gray near the body becoming almost black at the tip, and not appearing banded. The pseudopterostigma is broader.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Clear, moderately flowing streams of any size with at least some open canopy; small and medium-sized rivers.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late May to early September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults often perch head down on vegetation near water. When perched the wings are held back vertically above the body.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

After mating the female oviposits eggs inside soft, submerged stems of aquatic plants up to a foot below the surface of the water. Naiads remain in the water for two or three years, molting 12 or 13 times before emerging as an adult. Adults emerge mostly in June. They reach sexual maturity in about 11 days and live on average for 16 to 20 days.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

Small insects and other arthropods

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Small insects and other arthropods

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 17, 18, 24, 27, 29, 30, 72.

 
  3/10/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Zygoptera (damselflies)  
 

Superfamily

Calopterygoidea  
 

Family

Calopterygidae (broad-winged damselflies)  
 

Genus

Calopteryx  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Agrion aequabile

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

river jewelwing

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Nodus

On a dragonfly, the small notch on the lead edge of each wing about halfway between the body and the tip.

 

Pseudopterostigma

In Calopterygidae, a pale spot containing numerous cells at the leading edge of each wing toward the tip. It is crossed by veins and therefore is not a true pterostigma.

 

Pterostigma

[= stigma] In Odonata and Hymenoptera, a blood-filled blister or dark spot at the leading edge of each wing toward the tip. It is heaver than adjacent, similar sized areas and is thought to dampen wing vibrations and signal mates.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Dan W. Andree

 
 

Adult Male

 
    river jewelwing      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Male

 
    river jewelwing   river jewelwing  
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
River Jewelwing
dragonflywhisperer
  River Jewelwing  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  River Jewelwing Damselfly (Calopterygidae: Calopteryx aequabilis) Male
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 13, 2012

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (12 June 2012).

 
  River Jewelwing Damselfly (Calopterygidae: Calopteryx aequabilis) Male on Leaf
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 9, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (08 July 2011).

 
  River Jewelwing (Calopteryx aequabilis) Damselfly
Sagonto
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 8, 2015

 
  River Jewelwings on the Marys River
naturalist97333
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 4, 2013

These large damselflies are common along rivers and some creeks but seldom seen elsewhere.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Dan W. Andree
June 2017

Location: Norman Co. Mn.

I came upon this adult male - River Jewelwing while out in an area near a small stream

river jewelwing  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


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